Friday, March 26, 2010

US & UN Place Sanctions on Al-Qaeda in Iraq Leader

Via The Long War Journal -

A senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader operating in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan has been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department.

Muthanna Harith Sulayman al Dhari, a senior leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sunni insurgency, has been designated as a terrorist under Executive Order 13224 "for providing financial, material, or technological support and financial or other services." The designation allows the US to freeze his assets, prevent him from using financial institutions, and prosecute him for terrorist activities. Also today, Muthanna was designated as a terrorist by the UN Security Council's al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee.

Muthanna provides logistical and financial support for al Qaeda in Iraq as well as for his faction of the 1920s Revolutionary Brigade, a Sunni insurgent group. Most of the members of the 1920s Revolutionary Brigade split with the insurgency and formed the backbone of the anti-al Qaeda Awakening movement in 2006 in Anbar province.

Today's Treasury statement said that Muthanna "intended to reinvigorate the insurgency in Iraq by providing training to any insurgent organization fighting Coalition Forces" in August of 2008. He is known to have attended "training meetings" for al Qaeda in Iraq fighters at camps inside Syria.

At the meetings, Muthanna "explained AQI's [al Qaeda in Iraq's] future intentions to the trainees and stated that all available support from AQI would be offered across Iraq for operations against Coalition Forces," according to the Treasury. Muthanna "also advised the trainees that he and two other individuals would soon be traveling to Baghdad to begin resupplying insurgent leaders with equipment."

Muthanna provided an al Qaeda recruiter who operated in Anbar province and in Syria with $1 million, and promised to pay new recruits $10,000 each after they completed training at camps in Syria. Muthanna also directly financed an al Qaeda in Iraq cell and a 1920s terror cell that carried out attacks on Iraqi and US forces.

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